Whether you love Matthew McConaughey, baseball players turned quarterback, Wildcats that can play football or Tigers named Greedy, this weekend’s premier games has something for you.
The one lesson we can hope teams carry over from week is that when there is a delicious opportunity to go for it on fourth down, do it. Always be aggressive in your play calling. With that in mind, here are your college five.
My Record: 15-10
5 - Maryland Terrapins vs. (15) Michigan Wolverines - Michigan the 17.5 point favorite
The Wolverines have looked good in the open month of football, but have faced off with only one defense ranked in the top 40 in total defense. Michigan has averaged 200 yards on both the ground and through the air, posting 37.4 points per game. Now they will run up against a team that allows only 22.8 points per game.
The Terrapins average 33.8 points per game and the ground game has averaged 258.5 rushing yards behind the electric Ty Johnson. This game will be very tight, despite the home field advantage for Michigan.
Prediction: Michigan wins 27-21
4 - (13) Kentucky Wildcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies - Texas A&M the six-point favorite
After 41 years, the Wildcats have beaten Florida and Mississippi State in the same season, staying perfect as they trudge through the SEC. How have they turned around the squad?
Kentucky has dominated the trenches, pounding the ball on offense with running back Benny Snell Jr. and quarterback Terry Wilson, who have 964 rushing yards. Even back up running back Asim Rose has racked up 231 yards, all three averaging over five yards per carry.
On defense, linebacker Josh Allen has carried the front seven through five weeks. Allen boasts six of the team’s 12 sacks, adding 10.5 tackles for loss. Next to Allen, linebacker Kash Daniel and Safety Darius West lead the team with 37 tackles, imposing their will on the opposition.
They have only allowed an average of 12.6 points per game (ranked 3rd in the country in the category) and will the Aggies offense fits as they slow the game down.
Prediction: Kentucky wins 27-16
3 - (5) LSU Tigers vs. (22) Florida Gators - LSU the 2.5 point favorite
The defense of the Tigers has been lights out all season long, allowing an average of 15 points per game. NFL ready linebacker Devin White has continued his season-long clinic, leading the team with 44 tackles and tied second with five sacks. He leads a nasty defense that will attack the strength of the Gators: the rushing attack.
The Gators Jordan Scarlett and Dameon Pierce have each topped 200 yards, paired with Lamical Perine and quarterback Feleipe Franks who each contributed over 100 yards in the effort.
They will run up against a Tigers team that allows an average of 103 yards per game. Rashard Lawrence, White, Grant Delpit, Jacob Phillips, Michael Divinity Jr. and the rest of the front seven have clogged the running attack of every opponent this season. They will hold no punches here.
Prediction: LSU wins 31-17
2 - (6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. (24) Virginia Tech Hokies - Notre Dame the seven-point favorite
Ian Book was truly impressive in the 38-17 victory over Stanford, escaping pressure and extending plays to find receivers downfield. Book put to rest the concerns of his shaky deep ball, completing passes of 35 and 30 yards against the Stanford secondary. Passing for four scores and finding 47 yards on the ground in route to a massive home win cemented Book as the Irish starter the rest of the way.
Following his beat down on Stanford, Book must face a defense that will try to keep Notre Dame one dimensional. Virginia Tech lets up an average of 84 rushing yards per game to go along with 20.8 points per game.
The Hokies are going to do their best to choke out Notre Dame, but it comes at the worst time for VT. The Fighting Irish have their full complement of weapons on offense (Dexter Williams joining the team after a four-game suspension), finally pairing them with a quarterback that can unleash it.
Prediction: Notre Dame wins 36-28
1 - (19) Texas Longhorns vs. (7) Oklahoma Sooners - Oklahoma the seven-point favorite
There are four or five rivalries that define the college football season. The Iron Bowl comes to mind, as does the Big Game and the Good Old Fashioned Hate game. But one of the greats is the Red River Rivalry when the Longhorns and Sooners try to ruin one another.
The dazzling quarterback, Kyler Murray, has led the Sooners right back into the college football spotlight. But over the past two weeks, the Longhorns have revamped the pass rush, recording four sacks and attacking opposing backfields. Linebacker Gary Johnson has been lights out, with 32 tackles and six tackles for loss. Johnson and safety P.J. Locke III will both be critical if they intend to thwart Murray, especially when he makes plays with his legs.
The fixation on the running game continues for the Longhorns with their offense, up against the 60th ranked defense in rushing yards allowed per game (152.8). The duo of Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram have gathered 487 yards on 104 carries. They need to scar the Oklahoma defense, keeping Murray on the sideline. Texas has the studs to win the trenches on both sides.
Prediction: Texas wins 31-30